Champagne has always been associated with decadence. Produced in the Champagne region of France, the method of creating the all-important bubbles harks back to the 15th century, and has had more and more rules associated with it as the popularity of the drink increased.
To make champagne, the wine must be made from three grapes; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and the fermentation with yeast that turns grape juice into wine takes place in the bottle, creating the bubbles, and the biscuit-y taste champagne is often associated with. To remove the sediment the yeast leaves behind, the bottles are stored upside down for the sediment to move into the neck while the wine ages. They are turned to keep moving it down the bottle in a process called 'riddling' before it is removed and the champagne continues to age.
The complicated rules and extra work that go into making champagne explain how famous champagne houses have come to signal exclusivity and prestige.
Not all champagnes are achingly expensive, however. In honour of National Champagne Week we have searched for the best of the friendlier priced bubbly.
All go through the same winemaking process, but without the notability of the larger brands, many champagnes tcan be found for under £25. Scroll through our gallery below to see ten of the best affordable champagnes
Etienne Dumont Brut Champagne, Non Vintage
A fresh, citrus-y champagne that should be drunk as soon as it's bought (if you needed an excuse).
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne
Nicolas Feuillatte is the best-selling champagne brand in France, ahead of many of the more famous names in the champagne world, and we're more than happy to take the French lead on the best bottles to buy.
Veuve Devanlay Champagne Brut
This champagne has butter-y notes, down to a process called malolactic fermentation which creates lactic acid, more commonly found in milk, in the wine for a smoother taste.
Champagne Veuve Monsigny N.V. Brut
Aldi's affordable champagne has also been winning awards left, right and centre, which makes the low price even sweeter.
Marquis de Pomereuil
This champagne pairs well with smoked salmon, ideal for canapes, or a perhaps a decadent weekend breakfast.
Canard-Duchêne Brut NV Champagne
Majestic tell us that supposedly a bottle of this champagne is opened every 15 seconds in France, and with its delicious brioche and apple notes, we're happy to join that statistic.
Louvel Fontaine Champagne Brut
Champagne pairs especially well with fish and chips, with the acidic notes cutting through the oily fish, and bread-like tastes matching the batter. At just £10, this Champagne could easily be matched to a lazy weeknight dinner.
Bertrand de Bessac NV
This is a full-bodied champagne with a biscuit-y finish, ideal for anyone who wants a classic-tasting champagne, at a lower price.
Harvey Nichols Champagne Brut NV
This mini bottle is ideal for picnics, or if you want to indulge in champagne but don't have a whole party of people to entertain. Its rich notes of hazelnut and brioche make it a must-drink.